Most Kiwis think the Government should increase taxes - poll

Most Kiwis think the Government should increase taxes - poll
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Two-thirds of New Zealanders believe the Government should increase taxes to keep public services running at their current levels, according to a poll.

One-third believe tax should stay the same and public services should be reduced, a Council of Trade Unions (CTU) poll has found. The CTU used the poll to inform its submission to the Tax Working Group.

The survey was conducted by UMR and polled New Zealanders over the age of 18.

Nine out of 10 of those polled said public services are in need of increased funding from the Government.

The poll also found 66 percent of people thought a fifth tax bracket should be introduced for those earning significantly more than the current top tax bracket. The top tax rate is currently 33 cents on income over $70,000. 

But that's not going to happen before the next election unless the Government breaks its promise not to introduce new taxes.

During the campaign period, Labour leader Jacinda Ardern repeatedly said she'd immediately act on the findings of the Tax Working Group's review. The uncertainty of what those recommended taxes might be left Labour vulnerable to attacks from National, with Ms Ardern eventually backing down and saying she would introduce the taxes after 2021.

CTU Secretary Sam Huggard says taxes need to increase, but he says that could include taxes on polluting companies, multinationals and tax on investment properties.

"The basic maths is if we don't collect tax we don't get the public services we rely on. Kiwis clearly get that. They are willing to see more revenue raised, from a broader range of sources, to fund the services that sustain our communities and nation."

The CTU's submission to the Tax Working Group says the group of trade unions would support measures including:

  • Reducing the rate of GST to 12.5 percent
  • A capital gains tax that excludes the family home
  • Increasing the highest tax brackets to 38 cents on income above two times the average wage (over $106,000) and to 45 cents on income three times the average wage (over $160,000)